Last week a Durham police officer and his K-9 were both injured in a hit-and-run crash on NC Highway 98, according to reports. The accident happened around 8:45 p.m. when the officer was traveling eastbound in his marked patrol car on Holloway Street near Clayton Road when a truck struck the back end of his car sending it crashing off the right-hand side of the road, through a fence and into a tree. An eyewitness to the accident said she ran down to where the patrol car hit the tree to see if he was alright.
The witness said she saw the officer get out of his vehicle and then he sat on the ground. After hearing the dog barking the witness said she saw the officer get up and was trying to get the dog out of the vehicle. The officer was treated at a local hospital and released while the K-9 was treated at an emergency veterinary hospital and released.
Police were able to locate the pickup truck that rammed into the patrol car on Holloway Street close to Mineral Springs Road a little while after the accident. The 20-year-old driver of the truck was found inside and taken to a nearby hospital for treatment of his injuries. He has since been charged with driving while impaired. There was no information provided on any of the injuries, including the K-9, but as is often the case in a rear-impact collision, neck and back injuries can appear hours or days after the accident.
Since the officer and his K-9 were subjected to two separate impacts, first from the rear-end collision and then the second impact after the patrol car crashed into the tree, the officer and K-9 could have suffered serious injuries in the accident. The officer may decide to pursue a personal injury claim against the driver of the pickup truck to recover damages as a result of his injuries. Reckless or careless driving such as drunk or impaired driving can be considered gross negligence in which case punitive damages may also play a role.
Source: WRAL, “Durham officer, K-9 injured in hit-and-run crash,” Adam Owens, Jan. 9, 2013
Our Dunn, North Carolina, law firm helps victims of car and truck accidents recover compensation for their injuries. Please visit our Personal injury page of our website if you would like to learn more.